French battery maker Saft said it is providing space-qualified lithium-ion batteries for six weather satellites.
The new MTG satellites, the first of which entered operation in December 2022, will provide 10 times more data than the previous generation for EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites).
The satellites are being designed and built by Thales Alenia Space under a contract awarded by the European Space Agency. Saft said its VES16 batteries were selected to provide power continuity during periods of up to 72 minutes per day when the earth eclipses the sun, pausing power generation from the solar photovoltaic panels. Contract value was not disclosed.
“Power continuity is essential to support a constant, uninterrupted flow of weather forecasting data from the MTG satellites,” said Flavio Murolo, Operations Manager for the Meteosat satellites. “Having supplied the batteries for the first- and second-generation satellites, Saft’s technology has a proven record of over 45 years of superior performance, reliability, and long life for EUMETSAT.”
The batteries will support payloads on two types of satellites over a 20-year mission, corresponding to the lifespan of the different satellites, the company said.
Battery power will also support the satellites’ three-axis stabilisation systems. This ensures that sensors have a constant view of the earth.
Saft has been building batteries for space use since the 1960s. It began making batteries for weather satellites in the 1970s, beginning with the first generation of Meteosat satellites, operated by EUMETSAT.
Photo: © ESA/Mlabspace